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Mine Support Suggestion - Lower cave-in % of deep rooms?

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:49 pm
by Edoras
This is a long post with a simple suggestion. There's a TL:DR at the bottom.

At the moment, mine supports are useful in that they in that they cause the room to decay twice as slow, and also provide the ability for the room to be dug out and last for a longer time between re-digging the room.

I still think that there's something to be desired, however, given that mine supports do ultimately decay, and as such are nothing but sunk cost once placed into a mine. Yes, they do take a long time to decay completely, but at the same time, they also require significant resources to place into a mine.

As an example, consider the scenario where I never dig my rooms out past where I need supports: Once I hit "mine shaft" I always stop. This means I can move my horses through the room as long as they don't progress to "crude mine shaft" which is a whole level below. At this point, what benefit do I gain from using mine supports? I'll walk through the logic.

If I -don't- use mine supports but I always want to be able to use a horse, each room of my mine will have to be dug out for anywhere from 6 minutes to 30 minutes every 6 days. (A maxed artisan will need to dig for ~4 minutes, a total newbie would need to dig for ~20 minutes, so I'm including rest time with that). More than likely somewhere around 15 minutes a room every 6 days will be necessary to retain my ability to use a horse to traverse my mine.

Now, imagine that I do use mine supports: What do I gain? It means that now I can spend 15 minutes digging out each room for up to 12 days in between, barring mining.

In conclusion, each mine support I build saves me roughly 15 minutes a week. More if I'm less skilled at mining, less if I'm more skilled.

Now let's consider the cost of putting in a mine support. If I was to arbitrarily guess how much time it would take me to install, from scratch, 4 mine supports, I would say it's probably around 2 hours, and that's ignoring the cost of the nails. Cutting down the trees, chopping them up, making flitches, sawing the planks, getting everything together and then ultimately installing the support means that I'm roughly spending 30 minutes per support. Honestly, it's probably more than that, I think 30 minutes for 1 support is a pretty conservative estimate.

From a sheer mechanical perspective, spending 30 minutes putting in for something that only saves me 15 minutes a week and only lasts for 2 months feels unrewarding. I realize that still saves me, according to my estimated scenario, a total of 1.5 hours over 2 months so it's technically still a benefit, but it seems like a lot of work involving an entirely separate skill without a lot of payoff.

I also recognize that my proposed scenario did ignore the fact that by putting 2 supports into a room, the amount of time required between digs jumps up astronomically: If you fully dig out a mine you get to wait over a month between digs, but you do still have to dig eventually, and ultimately it's still around 15 minutes a week that you're saving per room with a mine support.

I think the current benefits of mine supports, which are nice, could use a little boost. So here's my suggestion: Mine supports should, in addition to the current features, also lessen the increased cave-in penalty that is associated with deeper rooms of a mine. Not entirely, mind you: But I think that installing 1 support should decrease the added chance for cave-ins by 25%, whereas having 2 supports should lessen the added chance for cave-ins by 50% of what that added chance would be. This would provide a much greater incentive to invest in mine supports. With this change, even really deep mines would benefit from installing supports either all the way through the mine, or maybe just in the deeper areas of the mine where the valuable resources are, whereas currently mines that are already large have no real benefit to adding supports, and would often come with an astronomical investment. Alternatively, just the state of the mine (based on digging) could help lower the added chance of cave-ins the deeper the mine is, since mine room size is limited based on the number of supports in the room.

TL;DR: Mine supports are not very rewarding given the amount of effort and cost they require, especially for larger mines. To make them more rewarding, mine supports (Or room size) should be able to lower the added cave-in chance due to depth by up to 50%.

Re: Mine Support Suggestion - Lower cave-in % of deep rooms?

Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:57 pm
by jilliana
I loved reading this. Extremely well thought-out and well written. I love these.

I don't mine much and I don't own a mine, but I thought of this very thing recently. I'm glad I waited because that was exactly what I wanted to say. :)

Re: Mine Support Suggestion - Lower cave-in % of deep rooms?

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:52 am
by Jirato
only lasts two months
Mine supports no longer break under the new system.

I'm looking into the cave-in formula. It shouldn't be as high as people have been describing. There's probably a flaw in the logic somewhere.

Re: Mine Support Suggestion - Lower cave-in % of deep rooms?

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:10 pm
by Edoras
Jirato wrote:Mine supports no longer break under the new system..

I knew that...

I just put three supports in my front rooms for decoration...

Re: Mine Support Suggestion - Lower cave-in % of deep rooms?

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:53 pm
by Jirato
Without getting into specific formulas...

Firstly, encumbrance greatly affects your mining rolls. If you have "You're feeling burdened by all the weight you're carrying." with the ENCUMBRANCE command, or worse, you're pretty much going to have crap luck with cave-ins. Assuming you're one step above that ("You're feeling somewhat burdened by the weight you're carrying."), you should be alright. You won't be optimal unless you are at least the "You're not carrying too much, you should be able to move about fairly unburdened." step.

Second, supports do greatly decrease the chance of cave-ins already.

Cave-ins work on three separate dice rolls. Consider this you versus the cave, with a random amount of your mining skill taken into account.

Say you have a mine room which is 40 rooms deep. That is to say, if you were to find an optimal route from that point in your mine to the exit, even if the exits don't necessarily exist (since you can have twisting tunnels and such), it's 40 rooms away.

In such a room, if you have mine supports, the cave's "attack" roll will be 1 to 60. If you don't have mine supports, the cave's "attack" roll will be 1-100.

Say you are not carrying too much weight, and you have 1000 mining skill. Your "defense" roll is going to be anywhere from 1-1001 to 1-2000. Note that if you are "feeling burdened by all the weight you're carrying." your "defense" roll is only going to be anywhere from 1-100 to 1-200. If you only had 200 mining skill, your defense rolls would be 1-1001 to 1-1200 unencumbered, or 1-100 to 130 encumbered.

If your defense roll result is lower than the cave's attack roll result, a cave-in will occur. As you can see, encumbrance GREATLY influences this. It could be the difference between getting dozens of cave-ins an hour to seeing only only one or two. These calculations are made every time the MINE command fires (including auto-mining, prospecting, and collecting from veins).

Re: Mine Support Suggestion - Lower cave-in % of deep rooms?

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:30 pm
by Lun
Neat O. Thank you for your in depth analysis of the system, Jirato! I love the clarity and thought you put into that post.

I honestly think at the end of the day, it's luck. I've had stints where under perfect situations, I get nailed with a 10 second RT cave in inside a perfectly shored up room with it completely reinforced, and my encumberance set to the lowest possible value. Twice in a row.

It stinks when the unfortunate things line up in a row like that. Thanks for everyones well thought out responses and inquiries! Y'all stay awesome.

Re: Mine Support Suggestion - Lower cave-in % of deep rooms?

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:21 pm
by Edoras
Jirato wrote:Firstly, encumbrance greatly affects your mining rolls.
This, I fortunately knew already, though I was not aware to what extent: It's even larger than I thought!
Jirato wrote:Second, supports do greatly decrease the chance of cave-ins already.
This, I was not aware of! And it's very good to hear!

Does this also mean that the quality of the support is now purely cosmetic?